In 2014 I discovered several new authors and I decided I wanted to share my experiences with their books. Not all are new authors just coming out. Some have been around for quite a while but I had never encountered their books before. The following is not a list beginning with the best. It's a list beginning in the order I read these books. Some are books that were recommended by Amazon Kindle Daily Specials or offered as specials by sites such as Bargain Booksy or posted on the Facebook site Saturday Self Promotion Extravaganza for Suspense/Thriller Writers. And one was given to me. But I loved each and everyone.
1. Let Us Prey by Jamie Lee Scott. This is the first novel in the Gotcha Detective Agency series featuring P.I. Mimi Capurro. The story begins with a bang: A headless corpse is found sitting at a table belonging to a world famous novelist. I don't want to give anything away but I will say that there are twists and turns plus a hunky policeman.
2. Just Add Salt by Jinx Schwartz. It's true that I did read the first novel in this series the previous year but this is the one that blew me out of the water. It's a Hetta Coffey adventure with Hetta and her friend Jan heading for Cabo San Lucas in her yacht piloted by a handsome captain named Fabio. I won't give more of the plot except to add that a lonesome whale falls in love with the yacht. For me, the novel was exciting, hilarious and riveting.
3. Death Turns a Trick by Julie Smith. This is a rip-roaring, entertaining Rebecca Schwartz mystery. Rebecca, a lawyer, is friends with a lady named Elena who runs a bordello in San Francisco. As Rebecca tries to help Elena, she herself becomes embroiled in shenanigans at the bordello. When she goes home, she finds a dead prostitute in her apartment. This is a fast-paced story that keeps the reader engrossed as Rebecca races to solve the murder.
4. The Mojito Coast by Richard Helm. This is a thriller set in Cuba just before the revolution led by Castro and Che Guevara. I learned more from this book about that revolution and the evil Batista than I ever did from news sources. Cormac Loame, the hero of the story, returns to Havana to bring back a kidnapped girl. In the process he encounters gangsters, jai-alai players, a world famous author and the woman he loves whom he left behind several years ago. Considering that we are finally beginning to restore ties to Cuba, this was a very timely (and exciting) read.
5. Return of the French Blue by Pamela Boles Eglinski. This is a Cat (short for Catalina) and Bonhomme suspense thriller. Cat, once a CIA agent, is on a mission to redeem her family's priceless blue diamond necklace. French Directorate spy, Nicholas Bonhomme sets up a sting operation using the necklace to catch a terrorist. This is a thrilling, heart pounding, nonstop action thriller with a Mediterranean setting--plus a sexy romantic ending!
6. This next novel (a gift from a relative) is so strange and different I felt I had to mention it: The Bishop of Mars by Steven Charleston. It's a futuristic science fiction novel with religious (but humorous) undertones. Sometime in the faraway future, Earth has deteriorated and is ruled by a criminal class know as The Vegas. Mars is being developed as a new social order run by various religions from the old Earth. Bishop Anthony is sent from Earth to be the Bishop of Mars. The Vegas have other plans as they want to take over the planet. This book has great humor and insights to Earth's major religions.